Though kick-ass women should be celebrated each and every day of the year, March is a month solely dedicated to reflecting on how far we have come in our fight for recognition and equality. Women’s History Month is about more than the strides we’ve made, however, it’s also about taking a moment to observe all of the work we have left to do to make the world a better place for ourselves and future generations.
That being said, these are just a few books that never fail to inspire us to continue to persevere and provide a constant reminder that we can do anything we put our minds to. You go girl.
1. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Roxane Gay’s collection of insightful essays takes you on a journey through her evolution as a woman of color. She sheds light on the changing political culture of the last few years while commenting on the feminist issues of today. Her hilarious, yet extremely accurate account of the way we consume the world around us is an inspirational reminder that we should constantly be improving and making something of ourselves.
Get it on Amazon for $10.00
2. Backlash by Susan Faludi
Faludi’s feminist text takes a look at the cyclical nature of women’s achievements that seem to continually be followed by a an inevitible backslide. She reminds women everywhere that while we’ve made monumental achievements, we still have to keep pushing. “The glass ceiling is still low; women are still punished for wanting to succeed; basic reproductive rights are still hanging by a thread. The backlash clearly exists.”
Get it on Amazon for $11.96
3. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
In this newly translated and unabridged version of The Second Sex, OG feminist Simone de Beauvoir analyzes the Western notion of “woman,” and calls for unbridled equality. She argues that women have too long been seen as second class citizens and lists the ways society has treated them as such. Much of this book will have you nodding in agreement, while also causing you to become mildly horrified at how much progress still needs to be made.
Get it on Amazon for $11.46
4. Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
For anyone who doesn’t know the story or hasn’t seen the excellent film adaptation, Girl Interrupted is an in-depth memoir of Kaysen’s young adult life. At 18 years old she was sent to the psychiatric ward of McLean Hospital where she spent the next two years learning about life and ultimately her own sanity. The story is incredibly relatable and gives us a chance to reasses how we define mental illness.
Get it on Amazon for $8.16
5. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Lean In is a must-read for every female in her 20’s or 30’s living in the professional world. Sandberg (the chief operating officer of Facebook) examines our disturbing lack of progress in achieving leadership roles. Even though women make up more than 50% of college graduates in the U.S., we are still given a backseat. Sandberg gives insight into why this is continuing to happen and what we can all do to reach our full potential and cement our roles in the workforce.
Get it on Amazon for $11.91
6. Bossypants by Tina Fey
Before Saturday Night Live, before Liz Lemon, Tina Fey dreamt of becoming a renowned comedian on TV. When this dream became a reality, Fey began to tell her story in a typically hilarious fashion. From her early nerd days, to her time on SNL, to her near fatal honeymoon experience, Fey reveals all and proves that “you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.”
Get it on Amazon for $8.10
7. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
Kaling is an expert when it comes to brutal honesty and her collection of essays entitled Why Not Me? is no exception. We can all relate to her ongoing struggle to find happiness and excitement in adulthood, whether it be through inner office romance, new friends, or finding your place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.
Get it on Amazon for $11.38
8. Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
Forty years since its publication, Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethelhem, remains a resilient staple of American culture in the ’60s. The best-known essay in the collection, “Goodbye to All That,” is a tumultuous combination of a love letter to New York and a break up note to a lover. It’s an important lesson in knowing when to walk away.
Get it on Amazon for $8.16
9. Sexy Feminism by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
Often called “Not your mother’s feminism,” Sexy Feminism is a realistic look at 21st-century feminism in an approachable form. Armstrong and Rudúlph call out society’s double standards on women and encourages us to own exactly who TF we are. “It’s an inclusive, approachable kind of feminism—miniskirts, lip gloss, and waxing permitted.”
Get it on Amazon for $12.62
10. The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness by Jill Filipovic
Jill Filipovic’s The H-Spot focuses on what impedes women from achieving happiness and how varied that happiness is defined based on the individual. She asserts that much of this struggle is due to a rigged system and that what we truly need is a feminist movement that outlines societal policies and laws to account for a pursuit of happiness for all. “If our laws and policies made women’s happiness and fulfillment a goal in and of itself, so many contentious issues would be resolved with one fell swoop-from women’s health to equal pay.” AMEN.
Get it on Amazon for $13.21
11. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This highly acclaimed New York Times bestseller by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was adapted from a TED talk of the same name. She offers her readers a definition of feminism rooted in inclusion and awareness that desperately deserves a place in the 21st century. “Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.”
Get it on Amazon for $5.11
12. Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham
From beloved Gilmore Girl star Lauren Graham comes a New York Times bestselling collection of personal essays that will make any fan love her even more. Graham takes a moment to reflect on her life and career from her role as Lorelai to her success on the show Parenthood, while also discussing the challenges of working as a single woman in Hollywood.
Get it on Amazon for $14.99
13. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
Last, but certainly not least on our list of books every badass female needs to read is Anna Kendrick’s Scrappy Little Nobody. Though this book is amazing in any form, I highly recommend the audible version because Kendrick reads it herself. Her collection of personal essays may be the most relatable novel I’ve ever read and I recommend it to every lady out there. “Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).”
Get it on Amazon for $12.99